Tian'anmen gets early makeover for grand parade in September
Updated: 2015-07-27 06:55
By ZHENG JINRAN(China Daily)
A worker paints the wall of the Tian'anmen Rostrum on Sunday as part of the preparations for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II celebrations on Sept 3.[WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY]
The annual repainting of the red walls in Tian'anmen Square and repairs to surrounding roads has begun early this year ahead of the grand parade on Sept 3 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Repairs to the stone road crossing the square that was built in 1958 are expected to be completed on Friday.
The original 350-kg stones in the road came from Laizhou, Shandong province,－the same origin as the 64,000 stones now in use, said Zhang Aijun, head of the municipal transportation commission's urban road maintenance office, in an interview with Beijing Television on Sunday.
Side roads around the Great Hall of the People, another key venue on the parade route, are being given an ultrathin asphalt topping.
All of the roadwork is done between midnight and 5 am to avoid traffic and huge crowds of visitors.
Work on the red walls of the Tian'anmen Rostrum began on July 20, and most of it had been finished by Sunday.
Each year, for about a month, usually starting in late August, the rostrum and other buildings in the square are repainted for National Day, which falls on Oct 1. But this year, the work started well in advance.
President Xi Jinping will speak at the parade and present medals to veterans or their family members. Some overseas countries will send representatives to take part in the event for the first time.
Qu Rui, a major general and deputy director of the Parade Steering Group Office, said it is also the first time that the Chinese mainland has invited Kuomintang veterans to the parade.
Guo Xianjin, a 27-year-old visitor from Shanghai, said the renovations had hardly affected tourists in the area.
"It's good to have regular maintenance work in the square," said Guo, who has visited the rostrum three times.
Song Jianhong, 22, from Liaoning province, agreed that the work had caused little inconvenience, and praised the earlier preparations for the parade.
"The parade is a good opportunity to present the truth and show China's growing power, so we need the square to be clean and beautiful," he said.
Sun Xiang contributed to this story.